OVERNIGHT REGULATION: Border crisis takes center stage

It’s Tuesday – primary night for Colorado, Maryland, New York and Oklahoma. But before you turn to the polls (and The Hill’s stellar election night coverage), check out our latest edition of OVERNIGHT REGULATION, your daily rundown of the day’s biggest news on the regulation and enforcement front – and tomorrow’s most compelling storylines. Click here to sign up for the newsletter.

THE BIG STORY:

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AN ENFORCEMENT NIGHMARE, is what the Obama administration has on its hands, as House Republicans ratchet up criticism about the government’s handling of the wave of unaccompanied and undocumented kids cascading over the Southwest border and into the U.S.

The federal government has pulled together a task force consisting of the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA and the Border Patrol. But the crisis has created major enforcement, public health and logistical dilemmas — not to mention a political firestorm.

Simply put, this is not the immigration debate President Obama wants to have.

— What you need to know:

Today: A growing chorus of Republicans, led by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) called upon Obama to send in the National Guard to deal with the influx of migrant children. Notably, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson did not reject the idea outright, saying that every “conceivable, lawful” option remains on the table. Surely, the White House does not want to resort to sending in troops, so Johnson’s relative silence on the matter could speak volumes about the administration’s current thinking.

Tomorrow: Johnson is moving from the hot seat to the frontlines in Nogales, Ariz., where he will visit Customs and Border Protection facilities to get an up-close look at the federal response to the crisis. Meanwhile, the House is keeping its attention on the issue with a second hearing in as many days.

The long game: Simmering on the backburner is the larger immigration debate. Obama tasked Johnson earlier this year to conduct a review of the nation’s deportation policies to look for ways to make them more humane. That effort was put on hold, ostensibly to give Congress more time to grapple with a wide-ranging immigration bill. But the legislation is now considered dead, especially since many observers believe the issue played a role in the ouster of outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Going forward, the focus is likely to shift at some point to what the administration can do on immigration via executive action – and there is little doubt the border crisis will factor heavily into those discussions. 

ON TAP FOR WEDNESDAY:

Temperatures are expected to eclipse 90 degrees in D.C., where agencies, Congress and the courts figure to generate a slew of major stories.  President Obama will have lunch with Israeli President Shimon Peres in Washington, before speaking to the League of Conservation Voters in the evening. The Senate and House are both in session.

-The U.S. Supreme Court, days away from the end of its current term, will convene a rare Wednesday session to issue orders and deliver decisions on previously argued cases. There are roughly half a dozen cases pending, including major disputes over presidential recess appointment powers, public unions, buffer zones around abortion clinics and the Affordable Care Act’s contentious birth-control mandate.

-The House Judiciary Committee will hold the chamber's second hearing of the week on the surge of unaccompanied children who are illegally crossing the border without their parents. http://j.mp/1ptc8GX

-The House Judiciary subcommittee on Intellectual Property will hold a hearing about copyright protections for musicians, who claim they are losing $2.3 billion a year because of outdated regulations. http://j.mp/1lGd6PQ 

-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will get a grilling at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing looking at “management failures” at the Environmental Protection Agency. http://j.mp/1nCIACn

TOMORROW'S REGS TODAY:

The Obama administration plans to issue 195 new regulations, proposed rules, notices and other administrative actions in Wednesday's edition of the Federal Register.

-The Department of Education will offer job training to help people with mental disabilities find work.

The Education Department's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) says it will make it a priority for the agency to help people who struggle with intellectual, developmental (http://j.mp/1jLs9Cg), and psychiatric disabilities (http://j.mp/1qusf6z) find jobs and contribute to the nation's workforce.

"We take this action to focus research attention on areas of national need," the agency wrote. "We intend for this priority to contribute to improved employment outcomes of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities." 

-The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Justice Department will relax the firearm rules for security guards at nuclear facilities. Guards that do not carry machine guns will no longer have to undergo firearm background checks from the FBI. http://j.mp/1ruUr9j

Read our report: http://j.mp/1pKNC44

-The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will issue new rules for Section 8 housing, a government-sponsored program that provides rental assistance to low-income people. http://j.mp/1iugiO8

-The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will issue new rules intended to limit geomagnetic disturbances, which have been known to cause massive power outages. http://j.mp/ViNjCS

-The State Department will change how it classifies certain national security information. http://j.mp/1pyz1H8

NEWS RIGHT NOW:

YOU’RE GROUNDED! The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Tuesday that people cannot fly recreational drones within five miles of an airport, while also banning companies like Amazon from using these small aircraft to make deliveries. http://j.mp/1l8bjgH

CHEERS: One popular brewery says the EPA's new Waters of the U.S. rule, which would give the agency the authority to regulate small lakes, streams and ponds around the country, will help ensure its beer is made from clean, healthy water, The Hill's Tim Cama reports. http://j.mp/1sCsLDA

LABOR WIN: AT&T's merger with DirecTV is gaining support from congressional Democrats who believe it would strengthen the company's union and give employees more bargaining power, The Hill's Julian Hattem reports. http://j.mp/1sCorV9

SECRET SCIENCE: House Republicans are targeting the EPA's reliance on "secret science" with a bill that would require the agency to disclose the data it uses to write regulations. http://j.mp/1pKe3Hc

CRUISE SHIPS: Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) plans to hold a Transportation committee hearing next month examining safety issues on passenger cruise ships, The Hill's Keith Laing reports. http://j.mp/1qHz8DI

BY THE NUMBERS:

52,000: The estimated number of undocumented and unaccompanied migrant children that have crossed the U.S. border so far this year.

150,000: The total number expected to arrive illegally next year, according to CBP estimates.

4: The number of House Republicans who explicitly called during Tuesday’s hearing for the Obama administration to send the National Guard to the Southwest border.

1: The number of Democrats –Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) – who addressed the proposal.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“If children can come across because CBP agents are changing diapers or warming formula or doing other things other than securing the border, then I'm sure that elements that want to do harm to this country can exploit our poor southern border also.” – Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.).

 

We’ll endeavor to stay on top of these and other stories throughout the week, so check The Hill’s Regulation page early and often for the latest. And send any comments, complaints or regulatory news tips our way, via bgoad@thehill.com or tdevaney@thehill.com. And follow us at @ben_goad and @timdevaney.